42 USC 3171 - Designation of economic development districts

(a) In general 
In order that economic development projects of broad geographic significance may be planned and carried out, the Secretary may designate appropriate economic development districts in the United States, with the concurrence of the States in which the districts will be wholly or partially located, if
(1) the proposed district is of sufficient size or population, and contains sufficient resources, to foster economic development on a scale involving more than a single area described in section 3161 (a) of this title;
(2) the proposed district contains at least 1 area described in section 3161 (a) of this title; and
(3) the proposed district has a comprehensive economic development strategy that

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(A) contains a specific program for intra-district cooperation, self-help, and public investment; and
(B) is approved by each affected State and by the Secretary.
(b) Authorities 
The Secretary may, under regulations promulgated by the Secretary
(1) invite the States to determine boundaries for proposed economic development districts;
(2) cooperate with the States
(A) in sponsoring and assisting district economic planning and economic development groups; and
(B) in assisting the district groups in formulating comprehensive economic development strategies for districts; and
(3) encourage participation by appropriate local government entities in the economic development districts.